Lucie Pohl: Cry Me a Liver

★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 13 Aug 2015

Character comedy is always a dicey prospect. Introducing a host of original personae whose personalities must become vivid in merely minutes, while garnering consistent hilarity, is a Herculean labour for even the most talented standup. If one alter-ego pays off, the next could still be a damp squib. As a result, variable quality is often difficult to avoid, and impossible to ignore.

With that in mind, Lucie Pohl should perhaps not be judged too harshly. She has clearly invested thought and effort in making most of the guises she assumes; they're more than just set-ups for punchlines, each having distinct mannerisms, over-the-top accents and endless energy. Unfortunately, in too many cases, the characters themselves are intended to be the joke, and consequently don't have the lines to deliver the laughs. 

Most of Pohl's characters reflect her own origins and experiences in New York, which should bring some interesting insight, but instead seem as though they could be imagined by anyone with a basic understanding of Big Apple stereotypes. The most effective gag comes from an upper-class helicopter parent, who fires her six-year-old son due to his lack of direction and fiscal sense, but sadly such originality is rare. More reflective of the show as a whole is the homeless, hip-talking hustler who opens and closes the set. It is Pohl's most grating impression, and manages to amuse herself far more than the audience with her banter.

Pohl has plenty of ideas, but Cry Me a Liver would benefit from more than a few of them being weeded out.